Scientists are of the opinion that exclusive breast feeding for six months can harm babies. This has left campaigners of breastfeeding outraged and mothers flummoxed.
According to a recent review, if babies are not weaned to solids before six months, it could cause a whole lot of harm. This is the opinion of many experts from leading child health institutes.
Mary Fewtrell, from the childhood nutrition research centre at the University College London Institute of Child Health, said ,"I really want to emphasize we are not in any way anti-breastfeeding, particularly in the long term.We're extremely pro-breastfeeding. We would go along with recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for four months."
Patti Rundall, of the campaigning group Baby Milk Action, said that this would be "a regrettable and backward step that is out of step with current scientific thinking".
Fewtrell added , "This is not an attempt to promote commercial weaning foods. We are a university and Medical Research Council-funded group."
Justine Roberts of Mumsnet said. "A lot of mums work quite hard, and it is quite hard work trying to exclusively breasfeed for six months without introducing solids. If that turns out not to be correct advice, we'd like to know as soon as possible."
The Department of Health expressed the need to relook at this research and said "Breast milk provides all the nutrients a baby needs up to six months of age and we recommend exclusive breastfeeding for this time. Mothers who wish to introduce solids before six months should always talk to health professionals first."